Minneapolis students, teachers protest sweltering classrooms


Students attending public schools in Minneapolis without air conditioning called attention to "intolerable learning conditions" at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

FOX 9 reports parents and teachers joined students at the after-school event at Patrick Henry High School organized by Minnesota Neighborhoods Organizing for Change.

"The message kids are getting today is that our school system doesn't care about you, doesn't care about your health and doesn't care what you learn," said Brionnna Harder, a high school civics teacher.

As heat indicies in the Twin Cities surpassed 100 degrees for the third day in a row this week, Minneapolis Public Schools opted against canceling classes or letting kids out early to beat the heat, but provided extra fans and bottles of water to schools without cooling.

"Water and fans only go so far, especially when the heat gets into the 90s," a Minneapolis Federation of Teachers statement read. "No parent should have to worry whether their child will be in danger of heat-related illness when they send them to school. No teacher should have to endure working conditions that places him or her in a 90+ degree room often with over 30 students crowded into a room for eight hours."

Francisco Velez, a senior at Patrick Henry, told the Star Tribune that only one of his seven classrooms had fans.

The district said there were two cases of heat-related illnesses on Monday, including vomiting, a symptom of serious heat stroke, the Star Tribune reported.

There's not much relief in sight for the remainder of the week. KARE 11 reports hot, sticky weather will continue through at least the weekend.

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